Violent man attacked eleven victims during town centre rampage
A mentally-ill man who attacked nine people and two police officers during a town centre rampage has been placed under a mental health order and detained in a secure unit.
Derby Crown Court heard on Monday, August 21, how Ross Greenwood, 27, of Byron Avenue, Alfreton, carried out the random attacks on members of the public and two officers in Heanor as he punched victims and tried to gouge others’ eyes out.
He also admitted exposing his genitals, stealing an electric cigarette from one of his victims and causing damage to a door at Peacock’s clothing store during the spree.
Prosecuting barrister Siward James-Moore said: “All this is the result of a spree on Monday, October 23, beginning at Tesco, at Heanor, when he attended the car park at a petrol station and he turned his attention to Shane Poxon who is a cleaner.”
Mr James-Moore added that Greenwood grabbed Mr Poxon’s brush and hit him with it before punching him repeatedly and pushing his thumbs into his eye sockets.
Despite pushing Greenwood away, the defendant punched Mr Poxon again and he fell to the ground where he had his head stamped on and was further punched before Greenwood stole his e-cigarette.
A petrol forecourt customer, Ken Gilbert, saw the defendant, according to Mr James-Moore, and Greenwood asked the elderly man if he wanted some crack before punching him hard to the head and the victim felt a second blow and his glasses came off.
The defendant also swung out at a further customer, Ian Davis, and punched his van before attacking him again, according to Mr James-Moore, and despite blocking punches Mr Davis was forced to the ground where Greenwood tried to gouge his eyes out while reigning further blows to his body.
Mr James-Moore explained that a woman, Shelley Holberry-Quinn, urged Greenwood to get off Mr Davis but the defendant spat at her and her husband Peter was also pushed and punched in the face.
Greenwood’s spree continued as he admitted damaging a door at Peacock’s and went on to punch the store’s assistant manager Zoe Roberts and her colleague Debra Wainwright was also punched twice in the face.
Mr James-Moore said Greenwood then walked off laughing and threw off his t-shirt before taking his trousers down and exposing his genitals.
The defendant admitted going on to punch a passer-by, Daniel Penny, to the face and he also repeatedly punched further passer-by Michael Abbott.
As police arrived, one officer, Pc Scott, revealed how Greenwood threw punches at him which missed and the defendant tried to put his fingers in the officer’s eyes and he suffered three blows to the head before the officer over-powered him.
A further officer, Pc Williams, was also elbowed in the face as she helped to detain Greenwood, according to Mr James-Moore.
Dr Joanne Parry told the court Greenwood, who also goes by the name of Ross Peters, has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and a personality disorder and he poses a high-risk to the others.
However, she added that he has responded well to treatment and he’s motivated to co-operate with efforts to address his condition.
Greenwood, who has previous convictions for violent offences, pleaded guilty to one count of causing grievous bodily harm, two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, six common assaults, two assaults on police officers, one count of exposure, one count of theft and one of causing damage.
The incident, involving 14 charges, took place around Loscoe Road and High Street and the Heanor Retail Park as well as the nearby Tesco car park and petrol station.
Judge Nirmal Shant QC told Greenwood: “What you indulged yourself in on that day was a state of appalling violence. In the normal course of events it would lead to a substantial prison sentence and that is what I had in mind for you.”
However, Judge Shant QC said she was satisfied that Greenwood suffers with paranoid schizophrenia with further personality disorder issues and she imposed a hospital order under the Mental Health Act with a restriction order to place Greenwood in a secure unit at Wathwood Hospital, in Wath-upon-Dearne.